Menominee tribe appeals ruling on Back Forty mine permit

KESHENA, Wis. (AP) — The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of its challenge to a state permit for a zinc and gold mine planned for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The tribe contends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrongly allowed Michigan to handle permitting for Aquila Resources’ Back Forty project. The mine would be established near the Menominee River and the Wisconsin border line.

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality issued the final required permit in June.

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach in December rejected the tribe’s lawsuit. The tribe said Thursday it’s asking the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the ruling.

The tribe contends the project would harm the river and destroy burial grounds and cultural sites.

Aquila’s Chantae Lessard said the company will protect the environment and cultural resources.